Nuts & Bolts: 2012 Land Rover Range Rover

June 22, 2012

Bottom line: Considering the changes coming to the Range Rover line, it would make sense to buy the 2012 model only as a collector’s item. Otherwise, stay away. Shop any number of luxury SUV rivals that have as many amenities and functional features and a better overall reliability rating.

Ride, acceleration and handling: It’s a land yacht par excellence — but a land yacht nonetheless. Despite its many electronically enhanced suspension adjustment features, you’d better treat curves with respect in this one.

Head-turning quotient: People have a thing for British royalty, even if it is now funded by former colonists.

Body style/layout: The 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged is a luxury front-engine, four-wheel-drive full-size sport-utility vehicle. Body construction is mostly aluminum. The Range Rover line is available in two trim levels — HSE and Supercharged.

Engine/transmission: The Range Rover Supercharged comes standard with a 5-liter, 32-valve, gasoline-direct-injection V-8 engine with variable valve lift and timing (510 horsepower, 461 foot-pounds of torque). Supercharging is another way of getting more air into the engine combustion chambers for a better air/fuel mixture and more power output. The engine, in this case, is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that can also be operated manually.

Capacities: Seats five people, compared with seven in many of today’s full-size SUV models. Maximum cargo capacity is a subpar for class 74.1 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 27.6 gallons of gasoline (premium is required). The 2012 Range Rover Supercharged can be outfitted to pull a trailer weighing 7,716 pounds.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel antilock brake protection, electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability and traction control, side and head air bags, and high-intensity discharge headlamps.

Price: The base price for the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged is $94,820. Dealer’s invoice price on that model is $86,287. Price as tested is $100,920 including $5,250 in options (special 20-inch-diameter “diamond turned” wheels, reclining rear seats, audio-video rear-seat entertainment package) and an $850 destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $91,915. A change is coming. I’d wait, or shop elsewhere.

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